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CAMP HILL, PA-Rite Aid Corp. has obtained rent concessions in 20% of its worst-performing units, executives said at the company’s second quarter conference call.

The company contracted with a national real estate firm to assist with negotiations on 465 underperforming stores, and also is considering closures, said Frank G. Vitrano, senior executive vp and CFO. An in-house team is working on an additional 230 units. The rent reductions will be fully achieved over five to six years.

“We continue to work with our landlord partners to arrive at a satisfactory outcome on the remaining locations,” Vitrano said.

The company will open 18 new stores and relocate 42 units in 2010, compared with 33 new and 56 relocated units in 2009. Thus far this year, the company has closed 102 stores, and plans 117 store closures in fiscal 2010.

Rite-Aid does not plan any major market exits, but didn’t rule them out, either.

“Anything we did would be opportunistic at this point,” said John T. Standley, president and COO. “Our real objective today is to take those kind of markets in those kind of stores and see what we can do with them.”

Sales for second quarter were $6.3 billion, down 2.7% from the prior-year second quarter. Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 1.1%. The company posted a net loss of $116 million vs. a net loss of $222 million for the year-ago quarter.

Rite Aid operates 4,800 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

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